Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Element/Direction Correspondences?

For those of you who use element/direction correspondences:

I was talking to an eclectic friend of mine about the directions for different elements when casting a circle. I use the earth-north, air-east, fire-south, water-west system. However, he suggested that it might be appropriate to change the correspondences depending on local geography. His reasoning (which I'm not sure of historically), is that those correspondences come from western Europe, where the sea is to the west in most places, the Sun is predominantly in the south, etc.

He suggests that where we are, on the east coast of the US, he would use water in the east (for the ocean) and air in the west. From that it also follows that perhaps someone in the southern hemisphere might swap earth and fire because the Sun is predominantly in the north (or toward the equator).

Does anyone know of the historical reasoning behind the element/direction system I mentioned above, and if you have heard of anyone else who alters it based on local geography?

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